First, when I am walking or driving around anywhere, I have a small conversation going on with myself in the background of my mind. I am asking, "If you had to photograph here, how would you do it? Could you make it work? How would you light it?"
I was headed to Kansas City for a conference last weekend, but knew that I was going to photograph the wonderful Peres family. Having checked the weather, I saw that it was going to be a rather dreary day. Rain. Not quite warm enough to feel refreshed by the rain. And yet, I didn't have any other days with which to reschedule. My tight schedule on the day of the session also, didn't allow us to travel far from the conference location so I could choose a suitable indoor location.
What to do? Use what you've got- a parking garage. I knew that we were going for cityscape backgrounds, so I figured getting us higher than street level was a win anyway, and the overhang from the garage would provide coverage from the rain and perhaps even good light.
After we shot in the garage, the rain let up just long enough to for us to quickly play around in the sprinkles and highlight the families love for superheroes and karate on the roof. Inspired by The Incredibles, "It's a whole family of supers!"
The second reason I love this session is because of the ability of a photograph to show the realness of a person. I love when people respond to photographs with an exclamation about how an expression so fully displays the "real" person. I have known this couple since I was 11 years old, and they hold such a special place to my husband and I that they stood up for our marriage by serving as the Best Man and Matron of Honor at our wedding.
I don't often know the couples and families I photograph quite that well. However, since I do with this family, it was a special gift for Brian and I to look through each frame and find ourselves amazed that we can almost hear the exact laugh that Wendee or Josh uttered. Or we know the tone of voice that slipped through Josh's lips at a certain moment. It might not have been the technically perfect "photo face," but yet it was just the exact moment that we know that expression so well, and it feels dear.